Deepening Russia-North Korea ties test US-South Korea deterrence strategy 

Voice of America News reports: “The United States’ commitment to providing extended deterrence to South Korea is being put to the test, with some South Korean politicians publicly questioning the effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear umbrella after Russia and North Korea reached a new defense pact.

Debate over the U.S. extended deterrence was sparked by Representative Na Kyung Won, a five-term lawmaker of South Korea’s ruling People Power Party, who is running for the party leadership.

‘The deterrence under the solid South Korea-U.S. alliance is currently working, but it does not guarantee the capacity to respond to the future changes in the security environment,’ Na said in a social media post last week.

‘The international situation, such as cooperation between North Korea and Russia, is adding uncertainty to the security of South Korea,’ she added, referring to the stronger military ties between Russia and North Korea, bolstered by the comprehensive strategic partnership treaty signed by Russia’s President Vladmir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang last month.

The new treaty mandates Russia and North Korea to immediately assist each other militarily if either of them is attacked by a third country. The prospect of quasi-automatic Russian involvement in any future war between the two Koreas is now causing alarm in Seoul…”

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